Kunstverein Hannover

The works by the Austrian artist Peter Kogler (born 1959), a two-time Documenta participant, are made up of only a few sign-like elements. Since 1984, he has developed complicated and enterable labyrinths on walls, floors and ceilings from motifs of the human brain, ants and pipes. Unlike any other contemporary artistic oeuvre, he formulates specific images for a world that is increasingly being ruled by the flow of information and electronic communications, and connects this visualization simultaneously to the physical experience of placelessness and disorientation.

The persuasiveness of his works is essentially due to their congenial connection to the room. With the help of printed wallpaper, curtains and video projections, he turns the architectural space in question into a seemingly virtual suite that is endless and bottomless at the same time and whose dynamic intertwinings seem to engulf the viewer. Formally reflecting the traditions of Minimalist and Conceptual spatial art from Sol LeWitt and Joseph Kosuth to Daniel Buren, Kogler has succeeded in developing his repertoire of drawings in such a way that it attains the status of a visual “brand”, receiving a label without endangering his multi-faceted and complex ability to connect to very different themes and subjects. In a consciously contradictory manner, Kogler's works are always “empty” projection surfaces and contextually charged spaces for the reflection of post material realities. Developed serially, the eternally repeated decorative schemes formulate the white smoke of an allover on which any addressing of meaning is condemned to failure. As concrete motifs, they become enigmatic ciphers for universal contextual chargings. This is why, for example, the illusionary gray pipe forms can be read as a polyvalent: as a pure design, as a organic-like construction or architecture, as a metaphor for the complicated system of veins and arteries in our body, as a microscopically greatly enlarged image of the workings of a brain and, finally, as the visualization of electronic grids and high-power information highways. These associative synapses, which Kogler's motives consistently present balanced between the macrocosmical and microcosmical perspective, are not to be confused with a contextual taking of sides. The artist formulates a display in which the relationship between body, information and space is made visible a structure of labyrinth-like interdependence, but are not judged. Like an x-ray, he examines our reality and creates a surface design with, the interpretation of which is placed in our hands. Equally entrenched between a scrupulous criticism and affirmation of the media, Peter Kogler presents us the world as a seemingly virtual phantasmagoria, in which the usually invisible suddenly can be seen. This visible presence highlights simultaneously the unreality and the withdrawnness of the visible.

Four years after his extensive exhibition in the Kunsthaus Bregenz, Kogler will now develop a wide-ranging parcours for the Kunstverein Hannover, which will, for the most part, be made up of new works. The presentation, which will be accompanied by comprehensive catalog published by HatjeCantz Verlag documenting, aside from the exhibition items, all of Kogler's works made since the 1980s, will move to the Taxispalais in Innsbruck.